While Microsoft has put in features in its latest Office desktop applications that make them more touchscreen friendly, many have wondered when we will get full touch versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Today, as part of its financial analyst meeting, Microsoft indicated that "touch-first" versions of Office apps are in the works, and they will be coming to more than just Windows.
The statement came from Qi Lu, the head of Microsoft's Applications and Services division, during a technology panel at the analyst meeting in Bellevue, Wash. He stated:
We are working on touch-first versions of our core apps on Office. We will bring these to Windows devices and also to other devices in ways that meet our customers needs and value, and in ways that make sense economically for Microsoft and in the proper time frame.
Lu's statement was later paraphrased on Microsoft's official news Twitter account:
Qi Lu: MSFT working on touch-first core Office apps; will bring to Windows & other platforms when ready & financially sensible for MSFT— Microsoft News (@MSFTnews) September 19, 2013
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on some major updates to Office, under the code name Gemini, for some time. The company has also mentioned downloading Office apps from the Windows Store in the past. Today was the first time, however, that Microsoft has mentioned that touch-based Office apps could be released for platforms other than Windows.